Annual Concert and Training Band Awards 2019

Pontardulais Town Band welcomed tenor horn star Sheona White as guest artist for the Annual Concert on July 6th 2019. Sheona entertained the audience with a selection of classic repertoire, which included ‘Demelza’, ‘Cappricio Brilliante’ and ‘The Piper O’ Dundee’, a piece originally commissioned for Sheona.

The band’s selection of pieces for the evening included the world premiere of a piece written by band member Jonathan Mead, titled ‘Prelude on Two Welsh Hymn Tunes’.

The Training Band also performed a set at the Annual Concert, which this year included a solo by trombone player Evan Kinnear, who chose to play ‘Kid Shifter’.

Following their performance, the Training Band Awards were presented to members by this year’s guest soloist, Sheona White. Congratulations to all the winners, who were as follows:

Best Attender – Eleri Huxtable
Most Improved Player – Dylan Davis (Left)
Player of the Year – Evan Kinnear (Centre)
J. D. W. Maclean Bandsman of the Year – Ffion Llewelyn (Right)

At the Patrons’ reception prior to the concert, Band President and compere for the evening, Garry Owen, was presented with a band blazer and tie by band chairperson, Sue Aldrich.

Garry Owen blazer presentation
Band President Garry Owen presented with his band blazer and tie.

Silverware Claimed at the Cardiff Contest

The band was pleased to attain 2nd place in the First Section at the opening leg of the newly restructured 2019 Welsh League series. The contest was held on May 11th 2019, and once again took place at Willows High School in Cardiff.

Best Instrumentalist - Christopher Jenkins
Best Instrumentalist – Christopher Jenkins

With the contest reformatted to recognise National Gradings and with the removal of promotion and relegation, the band competed in a small field of four bands at this Own Choice contest.

The band elected to perform ‘Of Distant Memories’ by Edward Gregson, with Paul Holland adjudicating the section.

In addition to the 2nd place awarded to the band, principal cornet player Christopher Jenkins again collected the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize, having won the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize at the final Welsh League series contest of 2018 in Cardiff.

Full results for the section are below.

Position Band Piece Draw
1 B. T. M. Band
(Jeff Hutcherson)
Symphony of Marches
(Gilbert Vinter)
2 Pontardulais Town Band
(Paul Jenkins)
Of Distant Memories
(Edward Gregson)
3 Markham & District Band
(Matt Rowe)
Symphony of Marches
(Gilbert Vinter)
4 Abergavenny Borough Band
(Sean O’Neill)
Variations on Laudate Dominum
(Edward Gregson)

Best instrumentalist: Christopher Jenkins – Cornet (Pontardulais Town Band)

Best soprano cornet: Clint Miller (B. T. M. Band)

South Wales Evening Post Community Award for Neil Palmer

The band would like to congratulate Neil Palmer (a.k.a. Mr. Pontardulais Town Band) on winning the Lifetime Achievement Award in the South Wales Evening Post Community Awards 2019.

South Wales Evening Post Community Awards 2019 - Lifetime Achievement Award Winner - Neil Palmer

The award ceremony took place at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea on Friday 22nd March. The judges for the award were:

  • Leon Britton – Swansea City AFC Ambassador
  • Lisa Cameron – Commercial Managing Director of Media Wales
  • Kev Johns MBE – Actor and Broadcaster
  • Phillipa Mounsey – representing one of the sponsors, McDonald’s
  • Mathew Rees – 2018 Amabassador Award winner
  • Jonathan Roberts – Editor at South Wales Evening Post

Welsh Regional Championships Success

The band achieved 3rd place on its return to the 1st Section at the Welsh Regional Championships 2019, held at the William Aston Hall at Wrexham Glyndwr University on 16th March 2019.

On an emotional day, and following a difficult couple of weeks for conductor Paul Jenkins after a family bereavement , the band was very proud of its performance and only narrowly missed out on an invitation to represent Wales for a second successive year at the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

Performing the set test piece ‘Symphony of Marches’ by Gilbert Vinter, the band were placed 3rd by adjudicators Sheona Wade and Roger Webster, behind Goodwick Brass and Burry Port Town Band, to complete a West Wales 1 – 2 – 3!

Burry Port Town Band’s euphonium player and Besson Artist, Robbert Vos, won the Best Instrumentalist prize.

Full results for the section are below.

Position Band Conductor Draw
1 Goodwick Brass Matthew Jenkins 7
2 Burry Port Town Band Ceri John 3
3 Pontardulais Town Band Paul Jenkins 9
4 Deiniolen Silver Band Lois Eifion 10
5 Tylorstown Band Gary Davies 6
6 Lewis Merthyr Band Craig Roberts 2
7 B. T. M. Band Nigel Seaman 1
8 Markham & District Band Matthew Rowe 5
9 Llanrug Band Brian Connolly 4
10 Ifton Colliery Band Scott Lloyd 8
11 Abergavenny Borough Band Sean O’Neill 11

Best instrumentalist: Robbert Vos – Euphonium (Burry Port Town Band)

Some comments on the performance from brass band media on the day were as follow:

From Pontardulais provide the judges with a mature, well controlled account to ponder. MD picks his tempos judiciously as well as the dynamics. The odd smudge here and there, but this had a touch of richness to compliment the wit and thoughtfulness.

From on Twitter A mature performance of quality from Pontardulais – confident as well as considered. Odd little moment or two but such a coherent and musically authentic whole.

Welsh Open Return

The band enjoyed performing at the Welsh Open Entertainment Contest, held at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl on February 16th 2019.

PTB at the Welsh Open 2019
On stage at the Welsh Open 2019

Making a first appearance at the contest since 2016, and in a strong field of Championship and 1st Section bands, the band had the difficult task of catching the ear of adjudicators Philip Harper and Sarah Hayward, with a programmed entitled ‘The Eye of a Child’. The set list was as follows:

  • Activate, Matthew Hall (Soloist: Gareth Halfpenny)
  • Carnival of Venice, James Benedict/Harry James arr. Mark Freeh (Soloist: Chris Jenkins)
  • Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), Billy Joel arr. Philip Harper (Soloists: Owain Evans, David Kelly, Gareth Halfpenny, Adrian Hiscock and Martyn Llewellyn)
  • Helter Skelter, W. G. Lemon arr. Ray Woodfield (Soloist: Sara Llewellyn)
  • Tale of the Dragon, Paul Lovatt-Cooper (Soloists: Kevin Shanklin, Chris Jenkins, Owain Evans, Tara Smith, Lyndon Harris and Gareth Halfpenny)

Though the band didn’t feature in the prizes on this occasion, the performance puts the band in good stead ahead of the Welsh Regional Championships in Wrexham in a month’s time.

Dylan Fowles on his debut contest appearance

Another positive from the day was the first contest appearance with the senior band for brothers Tom and Dylan Fowles, who have both progressed through the Junior band. While Tom already has some contesting experience under his belt, this was Dylan’s first ever contest appearance, and both brothers sportingly agreed to play percussion for the demanding final piece of the programme, which even involved playing Japanese Taiko drums!

Full results for the day are below.

Position Band Conductor Draw Points
1 Filton Concert Brass Tom Davoren 13 193
2 City of Cardiff M1 Band Chris Bond 4 190
3 Llwydcoed Band Chris Turner 7 189
4 Thundersley Brass Band Melvin White 12 188
5 Jackfield Brass Band David Maplestone 6 187
6 Tongwynlais Temperance Band Gareth Hann 1 186
7 Enderby Band Ryan Richards 10 185
8 Haverhill Silver Band Paul Filby 8 184
9 Burry Port Town Band Ceri John 9 182
10 Pontardulais Town Band Paul Jenkins 11 181
11 Tylorstown Band Gary Davies 5 180
12 A.W. Parker Drybrook Band Joshua Ruck 2 178
13 B. T. M. Band Jeff Hutcherson 14 177
14 Abergavenny Borough Band Sean O’Neil 3 176

Most Entertaining Band: Filton Concert Brass

Best First Section Band (not in main prizes): Jackfield Brass Band

Best Soloist: James McLeod – Euphonium (Thundersley Brass Band)

Best Cornet: Tim Pannell (Haverhill Silver Band)

Best Soprano Cornet: Adrian Williams (Burry Port)

Best Horn Section: Filton Concert Brass

Best Percussion Section: Jackfield Brass Band

Youngest Player: Dylan Rowlands – 12 (Burry Port)

Spring Festival Invitation: Thundersley Brass Band

Senior Band Awards Evening

February 9th 2019 saw the return of the Pontardulais Town Band Awards Evening, held on this occasion at Tree Tops Country Club in Swansea.

The awards were presented by new Band President, Mr. Garry Owen, and the prize winners were as follows:

Most Improved Player of the Year: Lyndon Harris (Euphonium)

Bandsperson of the Year: Carly Shanklin (Cornet)

Player of the Year: Gareth Halfpenny (Trombone)

Players’ Player of the Year: Kevin Shanklin (Soprano cornet)

A special presentation was also made to Jayne Kinnear for her tireless work ‘behind the scenes’ over the past year, which has included securing numerous grants for the band to fund Workshops, purchase instruments for the Training band and for upgrading band facilities, to name but a few. Jayne was also heavily involed in the planning of the hugely successful Festival of Remembrance Concert held in November 2018.

Prizes Won at the Cardiff Contest

At the final contest of the year for the band, and the final leg of the three-part Welsh League series, the band were delighted to be awarded 2nd place in the Championship Section, which also saw the band achieve the overall runner-up position in the Championship Section of the Welsh League for 2018.

Christopher Jenkins
Best Instrumentalist – Christopher Jenkins, Cornet

In addition, the band’s principal cornet player, Christopher Jenkins, was awarded the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize for the section, for his fantastic contribution to the band’s performance of the set test piece, ‘Between the Moon and Mexico’, by Philip Sparke.

The result rounds off a brilliant year for the band on the contesting front, with one 1st place, three 2nd places, a ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize for Christopher Jenkins, a ‘Best Percussion Section’ prize and a ‘Best Back Row Cornet Section’ prize.

This set piece contest was adjudicated by Stan Lippeatt.

Full results for the section are below.

Position Band Conductor Draw
1 Llwydcoed Band Chris Turner 1
2 Pontardulais Town Band Paul Jenkins 5
3 Tylorstown Band Gary Davies 2
4 Ebbw Valley Brass Gareth Ritter 4
5 Markham & District Band Matthew Rowe 3

Best instrumentalist: Christopher Jenkins – Cornet (Pontardulais Town Band)
Best trombone: Gareth Robinson (Llwydcoed Band)
Best bass section: Llwydcoed Band

Remembrance Events

Festival of Remembrance 2018 posterA busy Remembrance weekend saw the band perform at a special ‘Festival of Remembrance Concert’ on the Saturday evening, before leading the traditional parade on the Sunday morning.

The concert, commemorating 100 years since the end of World War 1, saw the band give a world premiere performance of a composition written for the band, ‘Bugles Sang’, from the pen of local composer and current composer in residence of the Pontardulais Town Band, Mr. Haldon Evans.

Also performing at the concert were soprano soloist Adele O’Neill, local choirs Côr Glandulais and Lleisiau Lliw, and the prize-winning Pontarddulais Male Choir.

A number of performances were given by local children – choirs from Pontarddulais Primary School and Ysgol Llanedi, a choir and saxophone ensemble from Pontarddulais Comprehensive School and a dramatic presentation by Ysgol Gymraeg Bryniago.

The concert was held at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School and was compèred by Rhodri Lewis.

Llanelli online were present at the concert and have a report, along with photographs, available on their website.

Popular brass band website also have a report on their website, specifically about the premiere of ‘Bugles Sang’.